The first anti-shingles vaccine, Zostavax, has been linked to thousands of reports of patients contracting shingles and suffering other serious complications allegedly caused by the vaccine, including blindness, paralysis, brain damage, liver failure or death. Product liability lawsuits are now being filed in courts across the country, on behalf of individuals who received the Zostavax vaccine in an attempt to prevent shingles, and subsequently contracted shingles or suffered any number of other adverse side effects, accusing Merck & Co. of failing to warn about the potential side effects of its shingles vaccine. If you received the Zostavax vaccine and you have since contracted shingles, you may have grounds to file a Zostavax lawsuit against Merck & Co. for damages. Contact an experienced Zostavax injury lawyer today to explore your possible compensation options.

Zostavax Lawsuit

Zostavax Lawsuit Information

Cases of shingles cropping up among patients vaccinated with Zostavax have gained the attention of product liability lawyers across the country, who are now investigating allegations of shingles and other severe, potentially life-threatening complications from Zostavax. Zostavax is one of the few vaccines not covered by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which means individuals allegedly adversely affected by the vaccine will have to sue the manufacturer to be compensated for their injuries.

Lawsuits already filed against Zostavax maker Merck & Co. accuse the company of developing a potentially dangerous vaccine that, rather than protecting patients from shingles, actually causes repeated, painful outbreaks of the disease. One of the most recent Zostavax lawsuits against Merck was filed in New Jersey on behalf of 22 plaintiffs, who allege that Merck knew or should have known about the potential for Zostavax to cause serious side effects and failed to adequately warn about these risks.

Zostavax Injuries

• Shingles
• Post-herpetic neuralgia
• Chronic pain
• Blindness
• Hearing loss
• Eye disorders
• Brain damage
• Liver failure
• Facial paralysis
• Rashes
• Hives
• Headache
• Fever
• Joint pain
• Nausea
• Death

“Since it launch, 1,000s of serious adverse event reports have been submitted to the FDA regarding the zoster vaccine, including reports of at least 36 deaths.”

History of Zostavax

Zostavax first came to market in the United States in 2006, and at that point, the vaccine was only approved for use in patients 60 or older. However, in 2011, the use of Zostavax was expanded to include patients between the ages of 50 and 59, meaning the vaccine was approved for patients ages 50 and older, the very age group shingles typically affects. Shingles, or the herpes-zoster virus, is the second phase of a two-part infection, the initial phase of the infection being the contraction of the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox, usually during childhood. Once the chickenpox infection runs its course and the person recovers from the disease, the varicella-zoster virus stays dormant in the body for years, or even decades. The virus can then re-emerge later in life in the form of shingles, a disease characterized by shooting pains, extreme discomfort and a full-body rash, with a band of blisters on one side of the body.

The issue with Zostavax is believed to be caused by vaccine strain virus shedding, infection and transmission, a known complication of live virus vaccines like Zostavax. When this occurs, the vaccine has the potential to cause the very disease it was designed to prevent, in this case, shingles. In some cases, instances of shingles allegedly caused by the Zostavax vaccine may progress to include treatment-resistant “post-herpetic neuralgia,” a complication of shingles causing burning nerve pain that can persist even after the initial rash has healed.

According to allegations raised in a growing number of Zostavax lawsuits, Merck & Co. discovered during premarket approval trials that the vaccine could cause patients to contract shingles, but kept this information from consumers and the medical community. It wasn’t until August 2014, years after the vaccine was approved by the FDA, that Merck added a warning to the Zostavax label highlighting the potential for the vaccine to cause shingles and other complications.

How a Zostavax Lawsuit Could Help

Filing a Zostavax lawsuit could help you recover compensation for:
• Injuries
• Medical bills
• Hospitalization
• Pain and suffering
• Permanent disability
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Lost wages
• Wrongful death

What is Zostavax?

Zostavax is a vaccine manufactured by Merck & Co. designed to reduce the risk of developing shingles, an infection that occurs when a dormant varicella-zoster virus is reactivated in the body. Zostavax is a weakened form of the zoster virus, and the way the vaccine is supposed to work is by injecting the virus into the body to help build immunity. By successfully fighting off the virus, the immune system is supposed to develop a resistance to the virus, thereby reducing the risk of the reactivated virus causing shingles. However, in patients whose immune systems are unable to fight off the weakened virus, the Zostavax vaccine can actually cause shingles.
According to reports, Zostavax works the way it is supposed to in only 50% of patients, at best, and even then, the effects of Zostavax will only last for about six years. For patients who are immunocompromised and are therefore unable to fight off the weakened zoster virus, the consequences can be devastating, possibly resulting in a host of injuries, including chickenpox and shingles. In the last two years alone, there have been more than 1,000 adverse event reports submitted to the FDA in connection with the Zostavax vaccine, including reports of 36 patient deaths and other serious injuries, like brain inflammation, facial paralysis, lymph node disease, vision and hearing loss, and pneumonia.

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